You've surely heard of coronavirus but, despite his name being a bit scary,it's really so dangerous for kids? We have raised all the doubts with the childcare pediatrician Carla Estrada to learn a little more about the coronavirus, its symptoms, causes, treatment and how it affects the little ones in the house.
The coronavirus is a family of different types of viruses, each with a different level of severity and symptoms. In general, we can talk about quite mild viruses, which anyone may have had one in their life, especially in childhood.
In the case of viruses of the innocuous variety, we speak of the 'cold coronavirus'and, as the name suggests, the symptoms they cause are very similar to those of the common cold or flu.
However, some types of coronaviruses are much more dangerous, as they can lead to the death of the patient. Often, death occurs because of respiratory complications such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or pneumonia.
This is what happened in 2002 in China, when a dangerous strain of coronavirus caused about 7,000 cases of infected, of which about 800 died. A decade later, a very serious coronavirus also spread in Saudi Arabia, affecting about 3,000 people , of which about 800 also died. In this second case, in addition to respiratory problems, this coronavirus caused diarrhea and vomiting.
There are still many doubts about the exact origin of the coronavirus. However, it is considered a zoonotic virus, that is, it is transmitted from animals, in this case bats or snakes, to humans. However, in the latest strains being studied, coronaviruses have been found that are also transmitted between humans.
What worries parents most is knowing distinguish the signs that could warn of a coronavirus infection. To do this, we have to know the common symptoms that characterize this virus:
- General discomfort
- Throat discomfort
- Fever above 38 degrees
- Difficulty breathing
If we notice that the baby or child is down and the fever persists for about 48 hours, we must take him to the pediatrician. It is likely that to make the diagnosis, the first thing the doctor proposes is a hematology, that is a study of the blood through an analysis. With this laboratory test it can be ruled out if it is a viral process. Other frequent tests in these cases are chest X-rays or CT scans to find out if it is a pneumonia process.
And what treatment do children need if these tests are positive for coronavirus? They will depend on the type of virus that is present. In milder cases, good hydration (with plenty of fluids), rest, and medication are recommended to avoid pain and fever. However, in the most severe cases, hospitalization will be necessary.
It must be borne in mind, on the other hand, that when a patient is infected with a virus, they are low on defenses. With a depressed immune system, there is an increased risk of infectionTherefore, in case of superinfection, the administration of antibiotics may also be necessary.
The most common form of transmission of the coronavirus is through the air, with saliva. Sometimes contagion occurs when talking, kissing, coughing, sneezing ... Hence, the need to avoid direct contact with the affected people to avoid the risk of contagion.
So that children (not ourselves) do not become infected with the coronavirus, the following measures must be taken into account:
1. Good hygiene
It is important for children to have a good daily personal hygiene routine. But we must also talk to them from a young age about the need to wash their hands with soap and water.
2. Covering when sneezing or coughing
A simple gesture such as covering your mouth and nose well when coughing or sneezing will help reduce the spread. It is better to cover with the elbow, since we will continue to use our hands and, therefore, we could continue to spread viruses.
3. In case of illness, mask
In the event that a child becomes ill, the use of masks will prevent it from infecting other close people, but it will also reduce the risk of the little one contracting other diseases.
4. Do not eat raw meat or fish
In the case of the latest strains of coronavirus, it has been recommended not to consume meat or fish that is not well cooked, as it could also be a source of contagion.
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